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HP Govt Brings Masks, Hand Sanitizers Under ESMA Making Hoarding, Overpricing Punishable

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HP Govt Masks and sanitizers under esma

Shimla– In the purview of the Himachal Pradesh, Hoarding and Profiteering Prevention Order, 1977, “masks 2 ply and 3 ply surgical masks, N.95 masks and hand sanitizers have been declared as essential commodities by the state government till 30th June 2020. The government has amended the Essential Commodities Act, 1955.

He said that now, any act of hoarding, as well as profiteering in respect of these commodities, would attract penal provisions of the Essential Commodities Act, 1955.

This information was released by a spokesperson of the State Government on March 16, 2020. He said the step has been taken as a precautionary measure against the spread of COVID-19.

There were widespread reports that these commodities are being hoarded and sold on exorbitant prices by exploiting the fear of COVID-19.

Besides, officers and field functionaries of the Department of Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs, powers for conducting inspections, search and seizures under the aforementioned order
have also been conferred upon the Additional/Deputy/Assistant Drug Controllers, Chief Medical Officers, Block Medical Officers, Medical Officers (Health) and Drug Inspectors in their respective jurisdictions.

It’s notable that, on March 13, the Government of India had notified an Order under the Essential Commodities Act to declare these items as Essential Commodities up to 30th June 2020 by amending the Schedule of the Essential Commodities Act, 1955. It has also issued an advisory under the Legal Metrology Act. Under the E.C Act, after discussions with the manufacturers, States can ask them to enhance their production capacity of these items, to make the supply chain smooth, while under the L.M. Act the States can ensure the sale of both the items at MRP.  

Under the EC Act, powers of the Central Government have already been delegated to the States.  The States/UTs, are now empowered to take action against the offenders under the EC Act and PBMMSEC Act. An offender under the EC Act may be punished with imprisonment upto 7 years or fine or both and under the PBMMSEC Act, he can be detained for a maximum of 6 months.

 The decision has empowered the Government and States/UTs to regulate the production, quality, distribution etc. of masks (2 ply & 3 ply surgical masks, N95 masks) and hand sanitizers and to smoothen the sale and availability of these items and carry out operations against orders speculators etc. and those involved in overpricing, black-marketing etc.

The States have also been advised to give publicity of State Helplines for registering complaints by the consumers of the above two items. The consumers may also register their complaints in this matter with the National Consumer Helpline No. 1800-11-4000, Online Complaints: www.consumerhelpline.gov.in, Department’s Website www.consumeraffairs.nic.indsadmin-ca@nic.in and dirwm-ca@nic.insecy.doca@gov.in.

Meanwhile, the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases has reached 128 in India, the Union Ministry of Family and Health Welfare on Tuesday informed.  Maharashtra reported 36 positive cases – the highest in the country. Maharashtra is followed by Kerala at 22 and Delhi has 7 positive coronavirus cases presently.

With the death of a 64-year-old COVID-19 in a hospital in Mumbai, the total death toll has risen to three in India.

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HP By-Polls 2021: Silence Period Extended to Three Days

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Shimla-The campaigning period during Himachal Pradesh by-elections has been fixed from 10 am to 7 pm every day. The silence period has been extended from two days to three days before the closing date of voting, which will start after 6 pm on 27th October 2021.

During the no active campaigning by the candidates or political parties is allowed, and television or any digital media cannot carry any election-related matter.

This information was released by Chief Electoral Officer, Himachal Pradesh, C. Paulrasu. He said that the Election Commission of India has limited the period of campaigning during by-election 2021 in view of the guidelines issued for the prevention of the COVID-19 pandemic.

He has urged all the candidates and political parties participating in the by-elections of Mandi Parliamentary Constituency and Fatehpur, Jubbal-Kotkhai and Arki Assembly Constituencies to comply with these guidelines related to the election campaign.

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Nauni Varsity Scholar Naincy Bags Scholarship to Pursue PhD in France

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Solan: Naincy Sagar, an alumna of Dr. YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry, Nauni has bagged a fellowship for pursuing PhD from France. Nancy has reached France and will be pursuing PhD in Forest Genetics from the University of Orléans under INRAE fellowship. INRAE is France’s National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and Environment.

Naincy has completed her BSc Forestry from College of Horticulture and Forestry (COH&F), Neri in 2018 and MSc Forest Biology and Tree Improvement and Genetic Resources from UAS, Dharwad, under ICAR’s National Talent Scheme. Before leaving for France last week, Naincy was working as a Junior Research Fellow in a research project at COH&F, Neri.

She had applied for a PhD with a scholarship in Forest Genetics which was advertised by INRAE. Naincy was successful in the interview and was awarded a fellowship for three years for pursuing PhD at the University of Orléans. During the course of the PhD, she will receive a total scholarship of around Rs 70 lakh along with medical reimbursement. Naincy will be working on forest tree larch species in the Project titled ‘Vigour at what cost? ‘Trade-off’ of hybrid vigour in Larch-Phenological, morphological and physiological determinants of hybrid superiority in Larix X eurolepis’ with a team of 20 scientists of Joint Integrated Biology Research Unit having expertise in genetics, genomics and physiology for the enhancement of tree and forest diversity

Dr. Parvinder Kaushal, Vice-Chancellor of the university spoke to Naincy via web conferencing and congratulated her. Dr. Kaushal, who has also done his doctorate from France, shared some tips and suggestions. He asked Naincy to explore this opportunity to learn about new cultures along with doing research that could help to enhance and conserve forest wealth in the future.

Naincy expressed gratitude towards her father Satya Prakash Sagar (Retd. SDO BSNL) and mother Monika Sagar, who is working as SDO in BSNL for their continuous support for higher studies. She also thanked Vice-Chancellor Dr. Parvinder Kaushal, Dean Dr. Kamal Sharma and Dr. Dushyant Sharma, Project Investigator and all the university staff for their support and guidance. The university administration, Dean of COH&F Neri congratulated Naincy and wished her success.  

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Bad Weather Warning for Himachal, Tourists and Locals Advised Not to Venture into Higher Hills

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Shimla– The Himachal Pradesh Meteorological Department, Shimla, has predicted heavy to very heavy rains for middle and lower hills on October 17th and 18th. The Met has also issued orange and yellow alerts for various districts.

Meanwhile, heavy snowfall has been predicted in higher hills and advisory has been issued for both locals and tourists to avoid travelling to higher hills.

While a yellow alert with a prediction of thunderstorms and lightning at isolated places has been issued for Una and Hamirpur district on October 17, an orange alert with a prediction of heavy rainfall, thunderstorm, lightning and hailstorm at isolated places has been issued for Bilaspur, Chamba, Kangra, Kullu, Mandi, Shimla, Solan, Sirmaur, and Kinnaur.

For October 18, a yellow alert has been issued for Una, Bilaspur, Hamirpur, Chamba, and Kullu districts and an orange alert for the remaining districts.

The Deputy Commissioner, Lahaul-Spiti, warned that in view of the Met Department’s forecast for the next two days, locals and tourists should avoid Manali-Leh National Highway (NH-03) and refrain from venturing into higher hills.

In case, travel is unavoidable due to some compelling circumstances, such candidates have been asked to confirm weather and road conditions on given telephone numbers, which are 9459661355, 01900-202509, 510, 517 and 1077.

The DC also informed that in case of any emergency, people should contact the District Disaster Management Cell, Lahaul-Spiti, on 01900 202509, 510, 517, and Tall Free -1077.

The weather is predicted to be dry on October 19 and 20. 

Feature Photo: Photo by Rodrigo Souza from Pexels

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